It has been our pleasure at Happy DeLand to be a part of so many positive events that represent just how incredible the City Of DeLand is! As we have closed yet another year and enter into 2017 we wanted to kick off the New Year by showcasing the LABOR and LOVE that closed out 2016. And that honor is dedicated to the hardworking hands of the DeLand Police Department and their initiative to impact the youth of this City with the “On Track” Epic Bicycle Ride. Spearheaded by Deputy Chief Randel Henderson, an EPIC ride of all proportions took shape and together with the Boys and Girls Club of Volusia/Flagler Counties groomed select youth to learn responsibility and what it means to be “On Track”. The efforts and excitement are genuine as the officers use the common link of bicycle popularity to bridge any gaps that exist between our young residents and the local police.
Mountain bikes were the reward for hard work and perserverence and the new friendships were an added bonus. Training, Support, and a Bicycle to call their own, this is what “On Track” initiative, spearheaded by Deputy Cheif Henderson and the City of Deland Police Department offered a few kids from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Volusia/Flagler Counties that met the challenge. The “Epic Ride” was the final test to receive the Bicycle they work so hard on and for. CONGRATULATIONS to ALL of YOU! Read the FULL STORY HERE: bit.ly/DeLandPoliceOnTrack #WeAreHappyDeLand #SupportLocal
Posted by Happy DeLand on Monday, January 2, 2017
The Difference Between Program and Initiative
A program is a fine thing to institute when you want to have a function to gather people to participate in, often times when you are on the cusp of something bigger, stronger and wanting to effect a movement and become a catalyst for change an INITIATIVE must take place. That’s exactly what Deputy Chief Henderson had in mind when thinking of today’s youth. “The ultimate goal is to build a sense of rapport and mutual respect between us – and it’s working!” exclaims Deputy Chief Henderson. “One of the young participants has a goal of now becoming a police officer. I think this is a good measure of success.”
Epic Bicycle Ride Prep
In order to make all of this possible it took a lot of planning and preparations including local support; an address was made in front of the City Commission outlining the essence of the initiative that supported a much larger strategy and it was met with approval in the form of a grant check! Things were really starting to take shape. The kids were selected, bikes and supplies collected in the form of volunteers and donations (a big shout out to all those involved who donated time and supplies including JC’s Bike Shop who more specifically donated combined efforts along with supplies). The youth were welcomed into the Police Department (the hub of their beautiful beginning) toured around for complete comfort of their surroundings and fed (both physically and educationally).
A stand out feature of the education they received was a presentation based on an old Native American Story showcasing two wolves. Two wolves with similar paths who’s outcome is severely different dependent on the types of decisions that are made in life. One wolf being of a selfish, destructive, and irresponsible nature and the other of a kind, compassionate and responsible nature. The moral of the story teaching them how to decide “Which wolf will YOU feed?” This was a lesson that gripped them to remember and keep throughout their adolescence and into adulthood.
Final Bicycle Ride
In addition to the lessons learned and shared, they were able to choose which bicycle was to be theirs and learned how to care for each one mechanically, bicycle safety, and how to pace yourself to enjoy biking trails of the leisurely kind and the more advanced trail ways. Several bicycling events came to challenge and prepare each participant for a final ride which was soon to culminate.
The final ride was scheduled mid December and was much anticipated. It was this ride that each kid had practiced, trained and worked so hard for. Not only would they accomplish a trail that was at an expert level but they were also rewarded by keeping their bicycle that they had selected, learned and made their own. They dedicated their time to learning how to be responsible for these bikes and at the end they were so proud of all they had done and had a bicycle to serve as a great reward along with newfound respect and appreciation for themselves and the Police Department.
Thank You Deputy Chief Henderson and the DeLand Police Department and may the support for all you are accomplishing with the youth of this city continue to grow. We thank you and can only hope to all work together to continue to represent and reflect the same passion and dedication to our City!